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CCSer2 gates dynein activity at the cell periphery

Zang JL, Gibson D, Zheng AM, Shi W, Gillies JP, Stein C, Drerup CM, DeSantis ME
bioRxiv [preprint] 2024.06.13.598865; doi:
Cytoplasmic dynein-1 (dynein) is a microtubule-associated, minus end-directed motor that traffics hundreds of different cargos. Dynein must discriminate between cargos and traffic them at the appropriate time from the correct cellular region. How dynein’s trafficking activity is regulated in time or cellular space remains poorly understood. Here, we identify CCSer2 as the first known protein to gate dynein activity in the spatial dimension. CCSer2 promotes the migration of developing zebrafish primordium cells and of cultured human cells by facilitating the trafficking of cargos that are acted on by cortically localized dynein. CCSer2 inhibits the interaction between dynein and its regulator Ndel1 exclusively at the cell periphery, resulting in localized dynein activation. Our findings suggest that the spatial specificity of dynein is achieved by the localization of proteins that disinhibit Ndel1. We propose that CCSer2 defines a broader class of proteins that activate dynein in distinct microenvironments via Ndel1 inhibition.
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